Injured hikers airlifted from remote Cape Breton trail: RCMP

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Two injured hikers have been treated in hospital after being rescued from a remote trail in northern Cape Breton.

On May 21 around 5:45 p.m. Cheticamp RCMP got a report of two injured hikers on Pollet's Cove trail near Pleasant Bay, N.S.

The RCMP, Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department and EHS responded to the scene and started planning the rescue.

Police say due to the difficult terrain, remote area and lack of cellphone and radio reception, an RCMP officer and a paramedic entered the trail together to try and locate the hikers.

A command post was set up near the base of the trailhead as members from various search and rescue teams made their way to the area.

Around 9 p.m., the RCMP officer and EHS paramedic found the injured hikers on the trail.

RCMP says they were treated at the scene, and a CH-149 Cormorant belonging to the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC) landed in a field nearby.

The hikers, the officer and the paramedic were airlifted from the area and flown to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, where the hikers were treated.

The RCMP says they would like to remind the public to plan ahead before going on a hike.

They recommend making a list of things you might need, like rain gear, extra warm clothing, food, water, a first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen, a whistle, a flashlight and insect repellent.

They also say you should:

  • Find out about the trail you plan to hike and make sure that the trail is not beyond your abilities.
  • Watch the weather. It can change frequently so it's important to know what to expect and to dress accordingly.
  • Not go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people.
  • Tell people where you're going and when you plan to be back. This can help first responders to locate you in the event of an emergency.
  • Bring your fully charged cellphone. This will allow you to call someone if you become lost.
  • Find out if there is cellular service in the area you are planning to hike, especially if the hike is in a remote area. The area surrounding the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including Pleasant Bay is known to have poor cellular service and hikers should bring a Satellite Communication Device.
  • If you do get lost, stay calm and keep warm. If you have to stay overnight, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. This can also assist first responders as the smoke of a campfire can be spotted by an aircraft.